It’s official — Pincher Creek is the sturling capital of Alberta.
“What is sturling?” you may ask. Invented in Didsbury, Alta., in 1998, the sport is much like the game of curling.
The biggest difference between the sports is that, in sturling, rocks are delivered with sticks or sliding, rather than exclusively sliding when curling. Other differences include sturling teams made up of two players instead of four, and games taking only one hour to complete compared to curling’s three.
Garry Cleland, Pincher Creek’s director of sturling, helped introduce the sport to the community in 2017. What began as a group of four members — Garry and his wife, Ruth, his cousins Dennis and Mel Cleland — has now turned into 58, with more on the way.
“It’s opened the game to a whole new group of people,” Garry says, adding that individuals of all abilities can play.
Garry recently reached out to Curling Alberta to inquire about how many sturling members other communities had. He was informed that Curling Alberta does not keep track of sturling statistics, but that the sport’s inventor, Carson Schultz, had all of the numbers available.
After contacting Carson, Garry found out that only one community had more members than Pincher Creek — Red Deer, with 60. However, with Red Deer’s population at just above 100,000 and Pincher Creek’s sitting below 7,000 with town and MD combined, our community has far and away the most sturlers per capita, making it the sturling capital of Alberta.
“It’s been getting very, very popular,” Garry says of the sport.